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If B.C. Wins Case On Environment, So Will Alberta

Canada oil

If the British Columbia Court of Appeal grants the provincial government the powers to regulate oil flows through its territory, then Alberta would by analogy gain the same right, which would end up as a problem for B.C., said Alberta’s Prime Minister Rachel Notley in response to a move by the B.C. government.

“We have asked the courts to confirm B.C.’s powers within our jurisdiction to defend B.C.’s interests, so that there is clarity for today and for the generations to come,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement after the province submitted a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal—the highest court to which the province can send a reference question.

“Our government will continue to stand up for the right to protect B.C.’s environment, economy and coast,” said Horgan.

The B.C. government is asking the court to review proposed amendments to the Environmental Management Act that would give the province the authority to regulate the impacts of heavy oils like diluted bitumen as part of its fight against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project that Alberta is defending with all it has.

According to Notley, if the court decides in favor of the B.C. government, not just Alberta’s but Canada’s economy will “grind to a halt faster than you can say ‘free trade’”.

Related: U.S. Oil Exports Are Only Heading Higher

“The way B.C. is framing this would effectively drive a truck — but not a train or a pipeline, apparently — through that loophole,” Notley added. “The resulting consequences would be very, very damaging to our national economy.”

The consequences will also potentially be very damaging for the very same environment that the B.C. government wants to protect from oil spills. Oil by truck is a far riskier alternative to pipelines for reasons including traffic on roads and the human factor.

While the two provinces exchange verbal blows and threaten legislative ones, the Trans Mountain project’s owner, Kinder Morgan, might just walk away from the whole quagmire. The company has given authorities until the end of May to come up with a way to ensure the project can take place, but according to B.C.’s Attorney General, the Court of Appeal is unlikely to issue a ruling by that date.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Peter Curtis-Brown on May 01 2018 said:
    Ok... BC is whining about gas prices at the pump, but they dont want A pipeline through the province. I am *totally* in line with shutting off all petroleum products to BC from AB. Let them import their Petro down the Panama Canal from the Middle East, Then see how Gas prices will skyrocket! Yes..They have some Petro production There, But nowhere enough to provide the Petro needs of the Province.
    So go ahead BC and cut off your nose.. They had better Pray that alterinative fueled vehicles become very quickly available there.
  • Pipe Dream on April 30 2018 said:
    "Think Big, Move Fast"

    This was Conoco's Motto way back when Conoco split away from Dupont!

    It was a Great Motto Archie, You had everybody behind you!

    It's time to do it again, for Keystone XL. The first one to the construction start line, will win the prize.

    But to succeed we need to get the API and Scott Pruitt to stop fighting the American Farmers in Nebraska and South Dakota over ethanol. If you will let E-15 and Ethanol live, you will probably let Yukon XL Live Also.

    API and Scott Pruitt, ---- Its time to wake up, and Think Big, Move Fast.

    Ask Archie!
  • P. Guerra on April 28 2018 said:
    No problem for Alberta. Increase the capacities of the pipelines To Superior,WI. and wait for The XL to open in 2020 that could accomodate all the Oil Sands production. The Gulf Coast refining capacity can handle the bitumen and is being greatly expanded to handle rapidly increasing US production. Super Tankers are now starting to load on the Gulf Coast which will make it more economical to ship oil to South America, Europe and the Far East.

    This is a win-win plan for Canada and the World.

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